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Vegan Makhani Sauce

This recipe can turn out to be a life saver, authentic restaurant style taste and rich in flavours. It’s a show stopper, and beauty of the sauce is you can use it as a base for various dishes like Paneer Butter Masala, Butter Chicken, Mutter Mushroom, Tofu butter Masala, Scrambled Tofu/Paneer(Cottage cheese) and many more.

You can even prepare this sauce in advance and store it in fridge for up to a week. Very easy to make with all ingredients which are usually readily available in our pantry. Follow this step by step recipe for convenience.

For vegan option I used Nutlex butter, you can use butter of your choice. If you are planning to make something Malvani or with coconut, even coconut butter would work well. For non vegan option use normal butter or ghee.

First, start with soaking cashews in hot water for about 15-20  minutes then drain and put aside. Take a pan and add butter, once the butter has melted add green chillies, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick & cashews; saute till cashews turn slightly golden brown.

Makhani Sauce

Once cashews are golden brown, add roughly chopped onions and tomatoes to it. Add some salt, cover and cook on medium flame. Cook till the tomatoes are mushy and can be squished with a spoon. Remove from flame and let it cool down completely before grinding it in a smooth paste. If needed use little water to grind the paste and make sure the cinnamon stick grinds well in the paste. Grinding the cinnamon stick will give the sauce a beautiful flavour and enhance the colour.

Now run the paste through a sieve, during this process you can use water and push the masala down the sieve using back of the spoon. Please make sure not to use excess water or the flavours would be lost.

Once you have run the paste through the sieve, use the same pan and add some more oil, butter and red chilli powder to it. Use the Kashmiri mirch chilli powder which adds colour to the sauce. If you do not have Kashmiri mirch chilli powder then add a small pinch of red/orange food  colour. Then pour the sieved masala over the butter and cover and cook for 2 minutes. Then add salt, coriander powder and cook further covered for 2-3 minutes. Dry roast Kasuri Methi and add it to the gravy by rubbing it between your palms. Add little water if needed, taste check and cover and cook further till oil separates, this would be around 4-5 minutes.

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Your rich and creamy gravy base is ready.

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I have used this sauce to create butter chicken recently, it’s just that this vegan version is so easy and tempting!

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Happy Cooking!

  • Difficulty: ”Medium”
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Ingredients:Makhani Sauce7

  • 3 tbsp Butter (Nutlex for vegan option)
  • 10-12 Cashew nuts, soaked
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1 inch Ginger, rough chopped
  • 2 -3 Garlic Cloves, whole
  • 1 Onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Oil / Ghee (Non vegan option)
  • 1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 Tsp Red chilli powder (Kashmiri mirch)
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Soak cashew nuts in hot water and keep it aside for 15-20 minutes.
  • In a pan take 2 tbsp butter, once the butter melts add cinnamon stick, green chillies, garlic, ginger and cashew nuts and saute till cashews are golden brown in colour.
  • Add onions & tomatoes and cover to cook for about a minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook further till the tomatoes go mushy and can be easily mashed with back of the spoon. Switch the gas off and keep it aside to cool down completely.
  • Once the mixture is at room temperature grind the mixture, make sure the cinnamon sticks also grinds properly.
  • Now run the paste through sieve and if needed add some water and discard the residue collected in the sieve.
  • Use the same pan as before and add 1 tbsp butter and oil, if not making vegan then you can use ghee. Once the butter melts add red chilli powder and add the sauce over it. Mix well and cover and simmer further for 1-2 minutes.
  • Mix the sauce and add coriander powder, salt and dry roasted Kasuri Methi. Simmer further till oil separate from the sauce.
  • Add water to the gravy, depending on what you plan to make. If you are making sauce in advance then do not add too much water.
  • Let the sauce completely cool down before refrigerating it.

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